Creamy, thick, and chewy, this protein steel-cut oats is the perfect recipe to start your day with! It is healthy, filling, and contains 30g of protein per serving.
I love starting my day with something hearty and high-protein, and this protein steel-cut oats is my recent go-to breakfast! Cozy and comforting, this bowl of oats will keep me satisfied until lunchtime.
💚Why you will love this recipe
- Creamy, hearty, and super satisfying to have
- A fuss-free recipe that is easy to make and only calls for simple ingredients
- A good source of protein - a serving contains around 30g!
- Great for meal prep
🤔Difference between steel-cut oats and rolled oats
Steel-cut oats are the least processed oats made by chopping raw oat groats into smaller pieces. Due to their compact shape, they require a longer cooking time.
Steel-cut oats have a much chewier texture and robust flavor than other oats.
On the other hand, rolled oats are made by steaming and flattening the oat groats. As a result, they can be cooked in a much shorter time and have a creamier and softer texture.
🥛What you will need
📃Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Steel-cut oats - make sure to use regular steel-cut oats, not instant/quick-cook versions. Use a certified gluten-free brand to keep this recipe gluten-free.
- Protein powder - Both plant-based (like pea or soy) or whey/casein protein powder will work. Choose a flavor you like. I am using a vanilla-flavored protein powder blend.
- Milk - Any kind of milk can be used in this recipe. I am using soy milk to further bump up the protein content of this recipe.
- Maple syrup - Other sweeteners like brown sugar, honey, or sugar-free alternatives can be used in place.
🔪How to make
Add milk and water to a pan or saucepan. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then add steel-cut oats and salt.
Cook at medium heat for 20-25 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the oats have softened. Depending on the consistency of the mixture, you can add more water or milk while cooking.
While cooking the oats, combine protein powder with ¾-1 cup of water until thick paste forms.
Once the oats are cooked, add the protein mixture and maple syrup. Stir until everything is homogeneous. Top your oats with desired toppings, and serve it while warm!
- Use a protein powder you like - The oats will take on the flavor and taste of the protein powder.
- Adjusting the amount of liquid - Adjust the amount of milk/water used to achieve desired consistency. I recommend starting with less (following the proportion of this recipe) and adding more afterward if needed.
- Salt - Do not leave salt out as it helps bring out the flavors of the oats!
- Cooking time - The cooking time will dictate the texture of your protein steel-cut oats. Cook for 20 minutes for chewier oats or up to 30 minutes for a softer and creamier texture.
✨Variation and add-ins
Chocolate oats - Use a chocolate-flavored protein powder, then add 2-3 teaspoons of cocoa powder. You can even mix in some chocolate chips for a double chocolate version.
Peanut butter - Stir in a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter into your protein steel-cut oats. You can also substitute half the amount of protein powder with peanut butter powder. I also like mixing in a teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
Banana bread - Mash up 1 ripe banana, and stir it into your oats along with spices of choice (like cinnamon and nutmeg). You might need to reduce the amount of maple syrup used, as banana provides some sweetness to your porridge.
Veggies - Do you know you can add veg to your bowl of oats? Some that work particularly well include grated zucchini, carrot, and riced cauliflower. Add up to a cup.
Spices - Feel free to add any good ground spices or spice mix! My favorites include ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg.
Below is a list of toppings that goes well with this protein steel-cut oats, but feel free to use any other toppings you fancy!
- Nut butter - peanut butter, cashew butter, coconut almond butter
- Fruits - chopped bananas, apples, frozen or fresh berries
- Nuts and seeds - Chia seeds, almond flakes, crushed peanuts
- Yogurt - Greek yogurt, coconut yogurt, soy yogurt
- Sweetener - Maple syrup, honey, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar
- Shredded coconut or coconut flakes
- Chocolate chips or cacao nibs
Fridge - Protein steel-cut oats will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a sealed container. You can add a splash of milk and eat it cold or heat it before serving.
Freezer - This recipe is freezable too! I recommend portioning your oats out into individual portions before freezing. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Reheating - Add a splash of milk or water, and give the oats a quick stir. You can either reheat it on the stove for several minutes or in the microwave at 30-second bursts until hot.
❔Commonly asked questions
It is unnecessary to soak your steel-cut oats before cooking as they can be cooked in a reasonably short amount of time, around 20-25 minutes.
However, if you choose to soak them before cooking, I recommend reducing the cooking time to 10-15 minutes. You will also need to reduce the amount of liquid used to about 2:1 of liquid to oats.
Steel-cut oats naturally have a chewier texture, but you can soften them simply by increasing the cooking time. As the cooking time lengthens, you might need to add more water or milk if the mixture thickens too much.
Definitely! Adding protein powder is a quick and easy way to bump up the protein content of your oatmeal. It also gives extra flavor and creaminess to your bowl of oats!
Both plant-based or whey/casein protein powder can be used to make protein oats. As different protein powders have different absorbancy, you might need to adjust the amount of liquid added.
Here are some substitutions and add-ins that can further bump up the protein content of your oatmeal -
- Using soy milk or skimmed milk
- Adding a high-protein yogurt like soy or greek
- Topping your oats with nuts, nut butter, or seeds
- Adding collagen powder or vegan collagen
🍽More high-protein vegan breakfasts
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Creamy Protein Steel Cut Oats
- Add 1 cup of water and milk to a pan or saucepan. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.1 cup soy milk, 2 cup water
- Add steel-cut oats and salt. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of milk or water if needed.½ cup steel cut oats, pinch of salt
- While the oats are cooking, mix protein powder with the leftover cup of water. Stir until a pase forms.2 scoops vanilla protein powder, 2 cup water
- Add protein mixture and maple syrup to the cooked oats, and stir until everything is well combined. Top oats with toppings of choice, and serve immediately.2 tablespoons maple syrup
- You must use a protein powder that you like. The oats will take on the flavor and taste of the protein powder.
- Adjust the amount of milk/water used to achieve desired consistency. I recommend starting with less (following the proportion of this recipe) and adding more afterward if needed.
- Do not leave out the salt - it helps bring out the flavors of the oats!
- The cooking time will dictate the texture of your protein steel-cut oats. Cook for 20 minutes for chewier oats or up to 30 minutes for a softer and creamier texture.
Nutrition info calculated is just a rough estimate and is provided as a courtesy. Bear in mind that value will vary based on variables like specific brand or type of product used. To obtain the most accurate representation, it is highly recommended that you calculate it on your own with the actual amount and type of ingredient used.